With the unexpected deaths of directors Wenn Deramas and Francis Pasion earlier this year, showbiz has been divided with its view on improving the working schedules in the film industry. Sinag Maynila film festival director Brillante Mendoza said this awareness is a step towards the right direction.
“Sa totoo lang kasi admittedly nangyayari yan but not in my films. Nangyayari yang ganyang more than the eight hours lalo na sa mga independent kasi they have to maximize their budget. That’s why they have to finish everything in like a few days. But at the end of the day we are creating an art.
“We are making films but we don’t want the artists or the people to suffer while creating this kind of art. So sana, personally I’m not really into that kind of working practice so now that everybody is talking about it, nagkaroon ng awareness na as much as possible huwag ng i-practice. Of course we cannot really eliminate that. But at least pinag-uusapan siya and I think that’s the most important thing,” he shared during the Sinag Maynila filmfest media launch held last April 5 at the SM Aura Skypark in Taguig City.
With the Sinag Maynila filmfest on its second year, Brillante hopes to inspire more aspiring directors to produce quality films. Out of more than 100 entires, they chose five feature films to showcase this year.
"It’s a good time for different filmmakers. In the future they could also submit their projects here and make it into a reality. For as long as siguro yung script niya is relevant I think dito sa Sinag Maynila we give importance to the story more than the usual formula na kailangan merong sikat na artista. We give way to the story and of course to the film as a whole, They’re exciting, diverse and then at the same time still socially relevant. This year nagkaroon din ng short films section and then the Cinephone category which is sponsored by Samsung,” he explained.
Brillante said he and festival co-founder and CEO Wilson Tieng are very satisfied with the results of last year’s participants.
"Last year we didn’t expect because I think we only had like two months to prepare. But it was really very special especially dun sa mga films. They went to at least 36 international film festivals na nanalo ng mga awards and then we had our special screenings outside Metro Manila sa mga key cities like Cebu, Isabela, and Pampanga so it was really very successful. I hope this year itong second edition maging kasing successful siya nung first edition.,” he added.
Meanwhile, Head of the Sinag Maynila jury this year is Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis director Lav Diaz, whom Brillante admitted is his next movie to watch.
"Wala pa kasi, I’m having my film workshop for the past week and then Ithere’s Sinag Maynila and then we have our culminating activity the week after this kaya sobrang hectic. And I was away out of the country. Si Lav Diaz wala din siya dito nasa New York siya ako nasa Las Vegas ako nung Holy Week so I didn’t have the time to watch it yet,” he said.
To those who still haven’t watched the eight hour film, Brillante encouraged more Pinoys to catch Hele. "Siguro kailangan i-prepare mo muna yung sarili mo na alam mong manunuod ka ng eight hour film. Do not expect na pagpunta mo dun ang papanuorin ay yung the usual film na pinapanuod mo. The mere fact that it’s an eight hour film, it’s a different kind of experience because it’s a different kind of film. So siguro for us mga Filipinos siguro this is something new to us. unang una ang alternative or independent kelan lang yan pumasok, kelan lang tayo nagkaroon ng awareness. Wala pa nga tayong core audience for alternative or for independent so this is what we are trying to create now. And the Lav Diaz film Hele actually is a good experience for us. Maganda siyang introduction sa alternative cinema.”
The 2nd Sinag Maynila Film Festival will run from April 21 to 26, 2016. For more updates, log on to www.sinagmaynilafilmfestival.com.